‘Peaky Blinders’ Season 6: Cillian Murphy Verifies Helen McCrory Won’t Be in the Final Season Due to Coronavirus Delays

Peaky Blinders Season 6 is coming soon, and Cillian Murphy will reprise his role as Thomas Shelby. Murphy worked closely with Helen McCrory on the set of the show, and they grew to have a tight bond. Sadly, McCrory died of cancer, leaving fans wondering if she’d return for the final season of the show. Sadly, Murphy verified fans won’t see Aunt Polly Gray in the new season.

Cillian Murphy wrote about his experience working with Helen McCrory on set

Cillian Murphy from 'Peaky Blinders' Season 6 and Helen McCrory sitting and answering questions
Cillian Murphy and Helen McCrory during a Q&A | Anthony Harvey/Getty Images

Fans waiting for Peaky Blinders Season 6 hoped to see Helen McCrory return as Aunt Polly Gray. Polly Gray was the matriarch of the Shelby family, often working closely with Thomas Shelby and keeping in line. Through five seasons, fans watched as Polly became a mother, a loving aunt, and a stern co-worker — and she even fell in love with Aberama Gold. Cillian Murphy also has fond memories of working with McCrory on the set.

“On Peaky Blinders, I think the key relationship was always between my character, Tommy, and her character, Polly,” Murphy told The Guardian. “It was complex. She was his aunt, but sometimes his mother and sometimes his sister. At times, they were almost a husband and wife team.”

“When I think of her best performances, it’s her power and her presence that come to mind most of all,” Murphy added. “As a person, you just run out of superlatives. I guess for me her kindness is what I miss the most. I think about her a lot.”

Is Polly Gray in ‘Peaky Blinders’ Season 6? Cillian Murphy verifies Helen McCrory does not make an appearance

Helen McCrory died on April 16, 2021, and fans wondered if she’d still make an appearance in Peaky Blinders Season 6. While she died prior to filming ending, it seemed plausible she still might’ve been able to film a few scenes that the production team could feature. Unfortunately, Cillian Murphy verified fans won’t see Aunt Polly Gray in the new season at all in large part due to the filming delays from coronavirus (COVID-19).

“What I always feel sad about is that we were about to shoot and then the pandemic happened and we had to stop,” Murphy told Empire Magazine, according to NME. “If we had shot then, Helen would’ve been in the show, and that makes me feel sad.”

With that said, Murphy promises show creator Steven Knight still kept the spirit of Helen alive in the new season. “[Creator Steven Knight] has managed to keep her very, very present, which I think is a brilliant tribute to Steve and also to Helen,” the Thomas Shelby actor added. “But we couldn’t quite fathom it all as we were making it, you know?”

When is ‘Peaky Blinders’ Season 6 coming out?

When will Peaky Blinders Season 6 air? The Peaky Blinders Season 6 trailer said the new season would get an early 2022 release, but an exact date wasn’t given. But prior to the release of the trailer, newcomer Conrad Khan told RadioTimes.com that fans can expect the season to release in February 2022.

“That comes out, from what I last heard —  I mean, these things change so quickly -– I think that will come out next February, the beginning of next year,” Khan stated. “There was so much footage, so many episodes, that it does take a while to edit –- six months or something.”

We look forward to the BBC’s release of the new season, followed by the Netflix release.

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